Skip to Main Navigation

A Glass Half Full : The Promise of Regional Trade in South Asia (English)

Trade has played a critical role in global poverty reduction. In harnessing the potential of trade, some of the most successful countries have developed strong trade relationships with their neighbors. However, many South Asian countries have trade regimes that often offset the positive impact of geography and proximity. The report documents systematically the gaps between current and potential trade in South Asia and addresses important specific barriers that have held trade back. These barriers include tariffs and paratariffs, real and perceived nontariff barriers, connectivity costs, and the broader trust deficit. This policy-focused report unpacks these critical barriers to effective trade integration in South Asia through four in-depth studies that produce new, detailed, on-the-ground knowledge. Three of the studies are based on extensive stakeholder consultations. Two also rely on tailored surveys. The fourth study, on tariffs, benefits from new data on paratariffs. The report also marshals new evidence showing how trading regimes in South Asia discriminate against each other. Given the South Asian context, incremental, yet concrete steps aimed at tapping the potential of deeper integration are appropriate. The report has been drafted in this spirit. It offers precise, actionable policy recommendations that could help achieve measurable progress in key areas of trade and integration that would be to the advantage of all countries in the region.


  • Author


  • Document Date


  • Document Type


  • Report Number


  • Volume No


  • Total Volume(s)


  • Country

    South Asia,

  • Region

    South Asia,

  • Disclosure Date


  • Disclosure Status


  • Doc Name

    A Glass Half Full : The Promise of Regional Trade in South Asia

  • Keywords

    ad valorem equivalent; Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures; regional and global value chains; Federally Administered Tribal Areas; avenue for woman; Goods and Service Tax; free flow of good; Technical Barriers to Trade; regional free trade agreement; lack of mutual trust; nontariff barrier; foreign direct investment; pest risk analysis; intraregional trade; regional value chain; flight per week; air service agreement; gross domestic product; open skies agreement; trade in services; value added tax; risk management system; international trade flows; financial sector development; mutual recognition agreement; electronic data interchange; regional trade blocks; standard of living; growth of trade; unrestricted market access; interests of consumer; enhanced market access; privileges and immunity; pharmaceutical raw materials; food safety standard; restrictions on imports; benefit to consumer; regional trade agreement; panel of expert; country of origin; vegetable and fruit; regional integration issue; living in poverty; formal trade; bilateral trade; Trade Policies; open regionalism; gravity model; global integration; nontariff measure; Trade Policy; visa regime; fiscal policy; Fiscal policies; land border; tax distortion; policy persistence; landlocked country; consumer goods; grassroots development; partner country; global trade; food import; information asymmetry; information flow; positive impact; welfare gains; artificial barrier; total trade; trade relationship; cultural relationships; tariff-free trade; foreign tourist; sri lankans; trading opportunities; potential trade; air travel; trade regime; resolution mechanism; regional cooperation; survey results; average cost; economic integration; technology development; public policy; ecological integrity; aviation authority; microeconomic analysis; international economics; market size; expanded trade; cross-country study; trade partner; positive outcome; deep integration; informed debate; trade integration; infrastructure upgrading; domestic production; civil society; trade agenda; primary author; field work; trade volume; cumbersome procedures; border infrastructure; information campaign; transport cost; productive activity; Trade Restrictiveness; multilateral level; applied tariff; management committee; conformity assessment; airline company; copyright owner; sole responsibility; original work; authorization process; product registration; commercial purpose; trade issue; border points; sea route; uniform tariff; Single Window; import value; tariff liberalization; econometric model; Agricultural Trade; aromatic plants; Political Economy; international relations; global development; illegal trade; agricultural product; global companies; energy crisis; political science; aging society; vibrant democracy; international affair; international finance; gold standard; high tariff; industrial economics; institutional economics; research fellow; integration effort; customs check; social affairs; progressive liberalization; commodity trade; social indicator; goods trade; trading partner; hydropower potential; institutional mechanism; middle class; successful country; global poverty; production network; extensive use; lagging region; theoretical knowledge; animal life; stunted child; fiscal package; greater access; regional market; packaging information; tariff preference; import requirement; food product; domestic output; import duty; job market; protective tariff; business service; local market; country-specific trade; merchandise trade; trade tax; medical service; trade costs; tax levy; tax revenue; job displacement; global trading; tariff elimination; monetary policy; taxation system; institutional framework; Civil War; export basket; plant material; capital good; rationalization program; livelihood opportunity; critical markets; financial service; interesting case



Official version of document (may contain signatures, etc)

  • Official PDF
  • TXT*
  • Total Downloads** :
  • Download Stats
  • *The text version is uncorrected OCR text and is included solely to benefit users with slow connectivity.



A Glass Half Full : The Promise of Regional Trade in South Asia (English). South Asia Development Forum Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.